I came here to write a mother’s day post.  And, I’ll get to that because I’ve been blessed in that area – my mom, my step-mom, my MIL, and friends who have led by example or stood in when we had no family around.

But I thought first to look at what I had said in the past about mother’s day.  And I stumbled up on this blog post which started the tears.  Our boys were only 12, 10 and 6 at the time. Sissy wasn’t even born yet, much less on our radar.  I have kept telling myself that our oldest didn’t really implode until he was 15 (and I remember that day like it was yesterday), but this is evidence that we were really struggling to parent him much earlier than that.

Little did we know we were dealing with attachment issues, not just FAS (Fetal Alcohol syndrome) which we didn’t really understand then either. If we had only known then that sending him to his room – away from us – was only reinforcing his belief system that he could only rely on himself.  If only we had heard of TBRI and Empowered to Connect.  If only we knew about trauma and it’s horrible affects on children from hard places.

If only….

(sigh)

I wish more than anything I could go back and do it all over – differently.  But we didn’t know.  I need to remind myself that was 8 years ago!  Some of these concepts weren’t even available or hard to find.  Therapist after counselor after psychiatrist after pediatrician didn’t have a clue so why do I beat myself up over not knowing.

Because of all the lost years.

Because I missed so much loving interactions because I was not going to allow a 3 yr old….a 5 yr old…a 8 yr old…and so on be the one in control.  If I had only understood these were his coping mechanisms.  If only I had understood the concept of shared power.  Of giving him some control to allow him to feel safe.

So what if I know he’s safe.  So what if I can tell him/show him he’s safe.  Until he felt safe, he wasn’t safe.  I wish I had known.

I’m so glad we are helping to start a post adoption support group and a ministry in our church called Parakaleo.  The support group is for families in Yolo County who have adopted.  If you want to know more or learn when the next one is scheduled, please contact me.  The Parakaleo ministry won’t start in earnest until next Fall probably, but the ministry team is already hard at work.  I created a website to share our vision and resources.

So, while I can’t go back and I can’t undo the years I lost.  I can love on my young adult and try to help him know we love him to the moon and back!  I can use what we lived through and change how we raise our other children.  I can try to be a mentor and blessing to other families in similar situations.  Thankful for that!

 

 

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